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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

can be tendered otherwise harmless by the addition of
the proviso that even if they fail to secure acceptance—
even if a great wind comes to blow them all off the face
of the earth—still, so far as I can see, this fact ought no*t
to weaken the main argument which follows them, and
to which they serve as a background.

The first point, then, is the belief that to some degree
men are responsible for themselves and for their actions;
but that all men are imperfect and that human suffering
is greatly increased and multiplied by this general fact.

The second is the thesis that the difference between

the wickedness and responsibility of one man and those

of another, in the general world of nature (where it must

be recognised that good fortune or adverse conditions

play a great but still unmeasured part in the development

of human beings), is so idle a question and so nice a

point that it is not worth the wear of our fine intellects

to discuss it in any imaginable conjuncture of life or

history.   Indeed, since human responsibility is so subtle

a  substance,  presenting  itself with  vividness  inside

me, but not open to my vision at all inside another

man—in other words, since I know that I could have

done better than I did do while I can never tell what

allowances I ought to make for other people—it is

impossible to think one man essentially more wicked

than another save as one might say:   "All men are

sinners and I the chief of them ",   It follows from this

that moral judgments of actual people cannot defensibly

or ugefuUy exist in concrete cases save in the form of

self-judgments.

Thirdly, though I, looking to the immediate future,

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